On Wednesday Year 4 thoroughly enjoyed exploring Kew Gardens, where we learnt lots about the fascinating array of plants that can be found in the rainforest. Fortunately, we were blessed with a warm and sunny day, which allowed us to make the most of the beautiful outside space at Kew.
Everyone was amazed at the variety of plant life found in the Palm House. We also discovered that many products we use in our homes contain ingredients taken from rainforest plants.
“It was really interesting to find out about the many different types of trees and the things we use them for.” Phoebe
“I enjoyed seeing and smelling the fruits, spices, coffee and cocoa beans which all come from trees in the rainforest.” Oscar
We also looked closely at the ways leaves are adapted to their rainforest habitat. The children identified drip tips, which enable excess water to run off, and buttress roots, which provide extra stability. We also discovered that epiphytes are plants that live on the surface of other plants, especially on the trees and branches, as this helps them to take advantage of the sunlight in the canopy.
For many, the treetop walk was a highlight of the day. From here we could all appreciate just how high the canopy and emergent layers of the rainforest really are!
“I loved the treetop walk as it was so high up and there were lots of interesting facts to read about the different trees.” Harrison
Bringing back memories of Year 3, the children also enjoyed visiting the Marianne North art gallery. Here they were able to find the artwork that had been the source of inspiration for their ‘Take one picture’ week. We were interested to learn that her paintings had provided evidence of species previously unknown.
“Marianne North’s paintings were really beautiful and very detailed. It was great to see the real artwork we used for ‘Take one picture’ week.” Niamh
Lastly, we compared plants found in a desert biome to those found in a tropical biome. This will help us with our science habitat work back at school.
A very enjoyable and educational day was experienced by all. The teachers are sure that the children will use their fascinating new knowledge to produce some super rainforest and habitat work!